“Supporters of a proposed Ho-Chunk casino in Beloit hope the proposal will move more quickly through federal review now that Gov. Scott Walker has decided against the Menominee Nation’s request to build a casino in Kenosha.”
“The Ho-Chunk is in the middle of a proposal to build an off-reservation casino in Beloit, however Greendeer said there has been no update on their project status. The Environmental Impact Statement for the Beloit casino project is currently at the BIA office in Washington, D.C., and is waiting for approval from the office before being sent back to the regional BIA office in Minnesota.”
“A referendum vote by the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians was 140-138 against continuing to fund the Shullsburg Gaming Fee-To-Trust application for the development of the off-reservation casino in Shullsburg, a tribal spokesman said. The vote did not mean that the tribe was pulling its application for the proposed $132 million casino, according to tribal spokesman Brandon Thoms. But it is one of the options open to tribal leaders as they seek alternative sources for funding the application process, he added.”
“The project would also need approval from the state of Wisconsin. That’s proved a stumbling block for the Menominee Tribe’s plan for an off-reservation casino in Kenosha. Governor Scott Walker has put off approving the plan due to another tribe’s opposition to it.”
“Nearly 100 percent of Wisconsin residents live within a two-hour drive of a casino, according to a recent study by the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, a free-market think tank. The report, authored by University of Wisconsin-Green Bay professor emeritus Daniel Alesch, concludes the market for Native American gaming in the Badger State is saturated.”
“The City of Baraboo agreed to support Sauk County’s opposition to the Ho-Chunk Nation taking land near their casino into tax-exempt status Monday evening, with the proviso that the interested parties should work on a mutually agreeable compromise. Controversy has been sparked among local government bodies after the Nation applied to the federal Bureau of Indian affairs to have 600 acres of land along Highway 12 and North Reedsburg Road given trust status. Schauf has estimated trust status for the properties would result in a loss of about $700,000 in taxes for the county, Baraboo School District, town of Delton and other governments.”
“These creditor leverage points, however, are often not available in the context of tribal-owned gaming entities, limiting the options for borrowers and lenders/creditors.”
“A federal court actually allowed an American Indian tribe to get out of a $50 million bond it owed to a private investor, raising concerns among other tribal-casino lenders. The 3,500-member Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, in northern Wisconsin, said $782,000 in monthly bond payments were bleeding it dry so last fall, it stopped making them, arguing that the deal was invalid.”
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